Amplify's second challenge will focus on innovations in early childhood development, specifically in identifying interventions that will support parents and caregivers in giving their children the best possible start in life. IDEO.org commits to prototyping a new model during this challenge that will enable collaboration in the process from these end beneficiaries - parents, children and other caregivers within the community - so as to include their insights, observations, and ideas at the core of the second Amplify challenge.
At the center of the Amplify collaborative innovation model is the OpenIDEO platform - a website with almost 60,000 users. However, many people in low-income developing world communities have limited or no access to the Internet. To solve for this, Amplify is prototyping a new system that extends participation in the program to low-income community members in a technologically appropriate manner.
Utilizing community radio stations in India and Tanzania, coupled with Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone technology (a system similar to the system one might access when navigating the telephone tree of a major retail store), SMS messaging, and community listening groups, the Amplify program can collect stories and solutions related to early childhood development from parents and other communities members with access only to a basic cellphone or a simple radio. These stories and ideas will be translated from Swahili or Hindi to English and posted to the OpenIDEO website. The collaboration feedback from the OpenIDEO community will then be shared back to the local communities in Tanzania and India via the same forms of appropriate technology (community radio, IVR, SMS, and community listening groups, plus translation from English back to Swahili or Hindi). The partners will provide feedback to specific community listening groups as a way to create two-way communication and foster genuine conversation between communities in Tanzania or India and members of the OpenIDEO community. The partners will also be using community radio to broadcast more general learnings and highlight some of the most powerful stories and ideas that originate from communities in Tanzania and India.
As part of this commitment, IDEO.org is designing a new systems-level approach for including input and innovation from low-income community members around the world. Assisting in this endeavor are OpenIDEO - which operates the OpenIDEO website - and two technical partners, Gramvaani in India and Farm Radio in Tanzania.
September - November 2014: IDEO.org partners with Farm Radio in Tanzania and Gramvaani in India to collect stories and ideas via radio, IVR, SMS, and community listening groups related to early childhood development. This content is translated and pushed onto the OpenIDEO website where it is shared with a community of nearly 60,000 users. Collaborative feedback from this global community on OpenIDEO is then curated, translated, and broadcast back to the local communities in Tanzania and India using the same media channels.
November - December 2014: Based upon insights from the community, as well as expert input from designers and early childhood development professionals, a subset of ideas submitted to the challenge advance to the refinement stage. During the refinement stage, there is a focus on prototyping and understanding how an end user might benefit from the idea.
January 20, 2015: Shortlisted ideas are announced, with a subset of these ideas subsequently receiving DFID funding and design support from IDEO.org. The Amplify program will fund ideas and provide design support to early childhood solutions from any of the 28 DFID Priority Focus countries. These countries are as follows: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
February 2015 - April 2015: Based upon learnings from Tanzania and India during this prototype, Amplify will seek to scale the 'Extending Collaborative Design in Global Development' commitment to additional countries contained within the 28 DFID Priority Focus countries listed above as part of Amplify Challenge # 3.
January 2015 - July 2016: IDEO.org provides design support to challenge winners.
The rise of new technologies and global interconnectedness is prompting a new discussion in international aid - one that is focused on inspiring technologically appropriate models to empower the end-user and end-beneficiary as the primary problem-solver for some of the world's most daunting development challenges. Current models in international aid often do not incorporate insights, ideas, and feedback from those who live in the very contexts that individuals seek to improve.
IDEO.org's Amplify program is increasing collaboration and bringing a human-centered design approach to international aid by hosting a series of ten challenges on a global platform, the website www.OpenIDEO.com. Amplify is a collaboration with IDEO.org, OpenIDEO, and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
Amplify is identifying and supporting community-focused solutions to some of the world's toughest challenges. Challenge topics are selected based on the opportunity gaps in current efforts, and supported by input from developing world community members, designers, innovators, and experts. As part of its first design challenge, Amplify focused on identifying innovative new solutions for making women and girls safer and more empowered in low-income urban areas.
Guided by principles of human-centered design, each design challenge is hosted on the OpenIDEO website, an open innovation platform that includes multiple phases that mirror the human-centered design process, while encouraging collaboration and improvement of ideas. At the end of each design challenge, ideas noted for their innovation and potential impact are provided with grant funding and technical assistance in the form of design support from IDEO.org.